COVID-19 has really impacted upon the career prospects of young people and for many, it is going to be more difficult to take that first step onto the career ladder or progress into higher-paying occupations.
Since the pandemic hit, the manufacturing sector and the many industries it represents were designated as being essential. Companies operating in these areas were able to carry on running as normal during the restrictions. This makes manufacturing a strong choice for anyone looking for job security.
That’s not the only reason why you might consider a career in manufacturing, however. This sector actually has a huge amount to offer – no matter what you are looking for.
No matter what point you are at in your career, manufacturing offers huge opportunities. If you have an eagerness to learn and move forwards and sideways within your career, you will find a constant stream of new things to learn and knowledge to be acquired – and this is only set to increase as the industry evolves.
You’ll also often find that many manufacturing companies run their own training programmes, so whether you are looking to learn the basics, interested in learning new skills or looking to get into sales and marketing, the opportunities are endless. Manufacturing companies also have a long and proud heritage of training and promoting staff internally, so you’ll often be offered the chance to progress within the same company.
The manufacturing industry has seen a skills gap emerge over recent years, caused in part by the baby boomers retiring. This has resulted in the need for more young people to join the ranks and fill gaps in the workforce. However, manufacturing and STEM careers generally are no longer the first choice for many young people and are often deemed less desirable in the UK than in other countries.
So, why is this? There is certainly a misconception of how the industry looks today. A manufacturing career is not the labour-intensive, dirty and dangerous job that it used to be fifty years ago. Young people need to be made aware of the opportunities available to them within manufacturing and STEM careers so that they can factor this in as a real possibility for their future. At a time when young people are in need of a stable career and this sector is in need of young people, exploring the options that manufacturing can offer you simply makes sense.
Manufacturing covers a huge range of different industries, so you are bound to find something that interests you. Look around you – almost everything you can see will have started life in a manufacturing factory. This covers the everyday, ordinary and mundane, but also the next big exciting development of our generation. You could become a part of the team that develops the next supercar or the next spaceship. Perhaps you could be a part of the next groundbreaking vaccine.
Innovation is at the core of the manufacturing industry, leading the way with 3D printing, robots, cobots and augmented and virtual reality. As technology continues to change the way we work and live, manufacturing is at the forefront of what this will look like.
In such a fast-paced and exciting industry, your working day will always feel fresh and different. You won’t find yourself lulled into a mundane working routine. You’ll always be using your brain and thinking up new ideas.
Also, unlike many technology-based careers, a job in manufacturing is rarely one where you sit at a desk using a computer all day, so you’ll be on your feet and staying active. It’s also unlikely that you will be working remotely, meaning you can spend your days bouncing off people and working in different environments, which can do wonders for your physical and mental health.
So, whether you have lost your job and are currently unemployed, or you are coming out of education and are not sure where to turn for a secure job with opportunities – consider a career in manufacturing. Even if you think it might not be for you, just do some research. There is a role to suit every individual in this diverse and rewarding sector.